We caught up with Peter Kim, the Co-Owner of Timbertrain Coffee Roasters and Kat McClure, the Head Roaster, to learn more about how Timbertrain began and the surprising overlap between animation and roasting.

- How did you first get into specialty coffee and roasting?

Kim: In the beginning, there were 3 of us in the partnership starting Timbertrain. We all wanted to get into business, and coffee was always something we were all interested in. Back then, the coffee scene was still evolving. We saw opportunities in third wave coffee scene. I always say we were able to start this venture because we were pretty naive. We did more research into coffee and just slowly fell in love with it.

McClure: I got into coffee when I was at art school studying animation in the UK. When I graduated, I wanted a job where I could connect with people again, and I thought being a barista would bring that community and social aspect back into my life. I got a job as a barista, and my love for coffee grew from there. When I moved to Vancouver, I knew that I wanted to learn to roast, and after a few days here, I got a job at Timbertrain as a barista, and my love for coffee didn’t stop growing, and I moved up through the company to roasting.

- Is there any overlap between animation and roasting?

McClure: I do feel like there are similarities between animation and roasting. It is very repetitive, and you make very minor adjustments to see quite large changes, and that’s really interesting for me. And the repetition is meditative for me.

- How has your approach to roasting developed over the years?

McClure: It’s developed a lot, but the foundation is the same. I feel like I draw on going back to the basics quite a lot. Ultimately I want to showcase the producer’s work and not impart so many roast qualities on the cup. I want to keep it as transparent as possible and show what initially excited us about the coffee.

- What is your green buying ethos?

McClure: We are excited to still be creating but also sustaining relationships with producers. It’s our intention to keep supporting the same producers year after year in the long run. Our menu ranges from approachable everyday drinking coffees to more experiential lots, so we try to source a range of different tasting experiences so that people can branch out and try something a little different if they are curious.


June 05, 2023 — Zara Snitman

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